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Want to shoot a movie guerrilla-style in a new city? The top 10 tips the Whatever, Linda team learned on location

Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys,' like their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they’ll take Globe readers on a journey about what it's like to be 'upcoming' in a business that won't stop changing.

We shot the exteriors for Whatever, Linda with a crew of two on the streets of New York and Brooklyn. And in similar fashion, we’ve recently returned from shooting the first leg of our feature film, The Definites, which is centred around the annual Art Basel festival in Miami. Here, then, is a list of 10 tips so that you too can shoot a film guerrilla-style in a city you've never visited! Aberrant Pictures: Where shooting awesome locations in unfamiliar territory is a rite of passage…

Aberrant Pictures made half a feature. And we aren't happy about it at all. #miami #thedefinites #takeusback #ArtBaselMiami #artbasel #southbeach #summer #producers #guerrillafilm

A photo posted by Mackenzie Grace (@mackiegd) on

1) Start your network of contacts in said city as soon as possible from afar, making contact via e-introductions and cold calls all while still at home. This goes for confirming camera crews, makeup people, locations, equipment, places to stay and so on. In short: Find local friends.

2) Assemble a small, kick-ass team of crew and talent. Be as lean as possible, even if it means your amazing director of photography doubles as gaffer or your sound guy also clocks continuity.

3) Use FaceTime and Skype to rehearse scenes and finesse scripts with talent who live in far-flung places.

What a night! #thedefinites #artbaselmiami @hannahshazaam @redheadinthecity

A photo posted by Brittany Allen (@britt_audrey_allen) on

4) Do not carry a camera on “sticks” (a tripod in everyday parlance) because once that camera touches the ground you make yourself obvious and immovable – and this can mean trouble. Whenever possible, forego the big boom mic for more discrete lavaliers which can be hidden in an actor’s clothing. Again, less is more.

5) On location, always send in the cutest, most charming girl or guy to ask permission for something, anything, oh please God just get permission. These go along way.

6) When asking someone impromptu, be polite, be thankful, be engaging, introduce yourself, shake hands, remember their name, be genuine, get their contact info and send a follow-up thank you (travelling with Canadian presents like maple syrup goes a long way). Most people are pretty star-struck by the notion of your filming anything, even if it’s a yet-unfunded film that may very well gross in the negative numbers.

And that's a wrap on Miami. Time to take off. #thedefinites #miami #artbasel #ArtBaselMiami #guerrillafilm

A photo posted by Mackenzie Grace (@mackiegd) on

7) Use Google Street View to scout locations, then follow up in-person immediately on arrival. Locations you get or don’t get will change what you can shoot, how you can shoot and for how long. Be prepared to rescript if necessary. Flexibility is a must.

8) Send women’s clothing in a suitcase accompanying a woman; it definitely looks questionable when your male director has a massive suitcase full of high heels, dresses and sheer tights. Barring that, have him pluck his eyebrows and learn a Barbra Streisand song beforehand.

9) Make sure there are enough beds for bodies before you arrive at your destination. When you’re asking a crew to work for nothing but don’t give them a proper resting place, you’re asking for a mutiny.

10a) Stay positive, and if you’re drowning in doubt, fake it ‘til you make it – especially the moment your team converges for the first time. People have to feel that you, at the very least, know what ‘s going on (even if you don’t). And while we’re at it…

Standing next to the TRUTH and that guys in the white shirt #artbasel #TheDefinites #filmmaking #MIAMI #ABM

A photo posted by Hannah Cheesman (@hannahshazaam) on

10b) Be flexible, and be confident in that flexibility. Everything won’t go wrong, but some things will go very, very wrong.

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